New mental health service planned for Shaftesbury

6th March 2020

Residents in and around Shaftesbury will soon be able to access mental health support at a site next to the town’s Westminster Memorial Hospital.

Steps 2 Wellbeing is a free, confidential NHS service for people aged 18 and over. It provides a range of talking therapies for people with mild to moderate depression and anxiety disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Friends of Westminster Memorial Hospital has bought a property adjacent to the Dorset HealthCare-run hospital, in Abbey Walk, to host the service, and work will soon be underway to renovate the building.

The building’s garden and driveway will be also be transformed to improve access to the hospital and increase the number of parking bays available for patients and staff.

Dorset HealthCare’s Lead for Steps to Wellbeing in West Dorset, Stuart Mead, said:

“Steps to Wellbeing has been one of the biggest success stories in mental health in the last 30 years, helping people to receive a variety of support and also better understand their conditions.

“We run this service across Dorset and it will be very beneficial to people in the Shaftesbury area to have this support right on their doorstep.”

Chair of the Friends, Julian Prichard, said: “We are delighted to announce our first joint project with Dorset HealthCare to increase the provision of services at Westminster Memorial Hospital, for the benefit of the community.

“This will be a hub for Steps to Wellbeing and is a good example of how the Friends can continue to assist our much-loved community hospital as we enter this new decade.

“Of course we can only undertake projects like this thanks to the help we get from our amazing donors and across the wider community, and we are very grateful to everyone for their support.”

Hospital Matron Alison Low added: “We would like thank the Friends for investing in this property, and for their on-going support. It will mean a huge amount to the local community.”

The property is due to be renovated over the next few months, with the service due to launch in the spring.

For more information, and to access support from the service, visit

To find out more regarding the Friends of Westminster Memorial Hospital, visit

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